NRG Energy— a wholesale generator and publicly traded company— announced plans to build a network of 150 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Houston starting in February 2011, then to expand this network throughout Texas and the United States.
According to the most recent, annual Green Cities Index, 78% of Houston commuters drive alone, and the city ranked 38th, meaning it is one of the worst out of 43 measured U.S. cities in terms of air quality.
A spokesman for the NRG eVgo Network said, “We hope to use the infrastructure we have to reduce co2 emissions and put a dent in our addiction to overseas oil.” Houston’s new charging station network will include 150 of NRG’s eVgo brand ev charging stations, 50 of them rapid charging stations that can fully juice an electric vehicle in 30 minutes.
The stations will be installed in parking lots at retailers that partner with NRG, including Walgreens and Best Buy, and in the lots of large corporate and school campuses along Houston’s major thoroughfares.
The charging stations will be positioned at locations within twenty-five miles of the city center, easing what automakers refer to as “range anxiety,” (a fear that an electric car, if taken far from home, will wind up stranded and battery-depleted).
Electricity retailers including Direct Energy and TXU Energy partner with NRG to supply power plans to EV drivers. NRG also considers its own electricity retail divisions, Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy eVgo partners.
Customers who buy eVgo brand charging stations for their homes will be able to subscribe to plans from $49-$89 per month. At the highest end, the plan includes the cost of electricity, and unlimited charging sessions at their home and publicly placed, Houston-area charging stations. All the plans include the installation and maintenance of a charging station at home. At the lowest end, users pay for the cost of electricity and do not have prepaid access to publicly positioned stations.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker held a press conference with NRG on Thursday to unveil the charging stations network. According to the Houston Chronicle, she also announced the city would open its carpool lanes on local freeways to highway-safe electric vehicles, and that the city would try to get toll road operators to reduce fees for EVs.
NRG Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a wholesale power generation company. The company engages in the ownership, development, construction, and operation of power generation facilities. It also engages in transacting in and trade of fuel and transportation services; the trade of energy, capacity, and related products in the United States and internationally; and the supply of electricity and energy services to retail electricity customers in the Texas market. As of December 31, 2009, the companyâ€™s power...
Green Mountain Energy Company offers alternative energy generation and distribution services. The company provides solar and thermal electrical energy development sand distribution services to residential and commercial premises. Additionally, it offers carbon offsets. Green Mountain Energy Company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Best Buy Co., Inc. operates as a specialty retailer in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and Europe. It offers consumer electronic video products, such as televisions, digital cameras and accessories, digital camcorders, and DVD players; and audio products comprising MP3 players, navigation products, home theater audio systems and components, and mobile electronics. It also offers home office products comprising notebook and desktop computers, monitors, mobile phones and related subscription service commissions, hard drives, and networking equipment; entertainment software...